Kick off 2019 with a strategic plan

Is strategic planning one of your goals for 2019? If so, start small, gain momentum, then expand your efforts and activities until you solidify that new strategy for your organization. 

The critical element to your success is employee engagement

As a reminder, in my June 2018 blog posting, What Strategy?, I shared my own experience with respect to employee engagement. I encouraged everyone to ask their organizational leaders one question: “What is our strategy?” And I provided several ideas that could be easily implemented to encourage employee engagement.  

A new organizational strategy affects all employees. Research from the Economist Intelligence Unit in 2017 indicates that in order to be successful, a strategy must be supported not just at the top, but at all levels of the organization. And the easiest way to garner support is by including employees. Although the leadership team decides on the final plan and the implementation approach, soliciting input and contributions from employees enhances leadership decision-making.

If you have an existing strategy, start by reviewing the mission and vision with your staff. Send out a survey, schedule an All Hands meeting, or raise the topic for discussion at staff meetings, team meetings, or department meetings. Ask: 

  • What do you think of our current Mission Statement? Vision Statement?

  • Is it clear how your role and responsibilities contribute to the overall mission/vision of the organization? 

  • Why? Or why not? 

Lessons Learned: Be prepared. Be consistent with the messaging. Define your objectives in advance and keep them simple. Listen. Ask questions. Take notes. Follow up. 

Reviewing the mission and vision of the organization is one of the first steps in the strategic planning activity. If you do not have best practices in place for strategic planning, start small. There is no need to tackle too many strategic planning activities at the same time. A measured pace also allows employees time to understand the importance of the process, not only to the organization, but also to them, personally, and provides them the opportunity to ascertain how they can contribute to the overall success of the strategic planning efforts. 

Lesson Learned: Don’t rush it! Remember, communication is the exchange of understanding. Employees need to understand what the organizational strategy is, why it is important, and how they can contribute to its success. Leaders and managers, in turn, need to understand what the employees are observing and experiencing with respect to the existing strategy, and whether there are any gaps that must be addressed. 

After starting small, you can gain momentum and slowly expand your efforts to tackle strategic goal identification and design and implementation efforts including reporting, metrics, and quality assurance. You can do this.

More to come in my next blog! 

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